ImaJAN Media Network
MeltedJoystick Home
   Games  Members
Search +
Searching... Close  
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
  
 
  Login Using Facebook
Twitter
 
     

5 Amazing, Irreplaceable, Discontinued Pieces of Hardware

View Nelson Schneider's Profile

By Nelson Schneider - 02/13/22 at 04:47 PM CT

Hardware comes and hardware goes, usually with a new-and-improved version replacing older tech as it’s phased-out and discontinued. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work that way, and with increasing frequency, incredible, novel pieces of hardware are quietly discontinued, vanishing off store shelves and out of Amazon warehouses, with no apparent successor intended to replace them. Here’s a short list of the most traumatizing discontinuations that have affected me, personally.

5. Gyration Airmouse
The Gyration Airmouse isn’t officially “discontinued,” however, the company that invented it – Gyration – has been bought-out by another company – Adesso – which seems more interested in security cameras than wireless, gyroscopic computer mice. The Gyration Airmouse is now “legacy” hardware, which means it’s not getting any R&D money dumped on it, and there won’t be any newer, better versions. As far as I’m concerned, this is THE best way to interact with an HTPC or AndroidTV box from the couch, since it offers speed and precision, without the need for a flat surface upon which to scoot it around.

4. Microsoft Explorer Touch Mouse
After Apple introduced the “Magic Mouse,” Microsoft followed suit and released the Explorer Touch Mouse into an environment where it competed against Logitech’s similar non-Mac products. The difference between a Touch Mouse and a Regular Mouse is similar to the difference between a modern Optical Mouse and a ‘90s era Rollerball Mouse: Instead of a mechanical wheel for scrolling, there’s a touch-sensitive haptic pad that allows for some great features from mobile OSes – such as momentum-driven scrolling – to work in a traditional desktop environment. When my Explorer Mouse gave up the ghost after more than a decade of daily use, I went to order a replacement, only to learn that Microsoft has discontinued it and replaced it with the Arc Touch Mouse. Sadly, the Arc Mouse is a huge pile of misbegotten engineering fails: You have to “bend” it to turn it on and off, the hollow arch that gives it its name leaves very few places to rest extra fingers while using it, and – the cardinal sin – the center touchpad isn’t a clickable button anymore, making middle-clicks and smooth scrolling a hit-or-miss proposition. After forcing myself to cope with the Arc Touch Mouse for a month, I shelved it and ordered a refurbished Explorer Touch Mouse. Microsoft really needs to dedicate some resources to their hardware peripherals division instead of blowing it all on Xbox.

3. Nintendo Wavebird
Oh, we’re finally getting to dedicated gaming devices, now? Yeah! The absolute best controller Nintendo ever made came after their biggest mistake: As a follow-up to the abysmal N64 controller, the Gamecube controller featured an unorthodox face button layout that both worked perfectly AND helped multi-platform gamers cope with switching controllers, since no one was going to confuse the position of the “A” button on a Gamecube controller with the location of a similarly-labeled button on a Dreamcast or Xbox. Making the Gamecube controller wireless just took excellence to all-new heights, and the Gamecube input panel on the original Wii allowed the Wavebird to rule gaming input devices for a long, long time. Unfortunately, Nintendo didn’t re-issue Wavebirds when they re-issued Gamecube controllers for ‘Smash Bros.’ players on the Switch. Desperate gamers can still acquire these great controllers refurbished, but getting them to work on a relevant modern platform still requires a dongle (which will no doubt be discontinued soon too).

2. Steam Controller
Darn it, Lord GabeN! What were you thinking?! First, Valve creates an absolutely amazing device for controlling old PC games with poorly-designed UIs and interfaces (due to pandering to the default typewriter that comes with the PC platform, and not bothering to put in the extra effort to support d-input), then they discontinue it after only a few years. Sure, there’s new-and-improved Steam Controller tech baked into the brand new Steam Deck handheld, but since they’re actually ‘baked in’ and not detachable like the Switch’s JoyCons, you aren’t going to be using the new Steam Controller to play games unless you’re playing them on a Steam Deck. I’m still waiting for a stand-alone version of the new Steam Controller to be announced once the hubbub around the Deck’s launch subsides.

1. Razer Hydra
I spent years following the successor to the Razer Hydra – codenamed STEM – which was to be manufactured by Sixense Entertainment. The Hydra was a fantastic motion controller that – unlike all the competing products – didn’t use light tracking or gyroscopics, but used magnetic field tracking for insanely precise pointer-based aiming and gesture controls that only had minor interference issues during electrical storms. Even more importantly, the Hydra and STEM were the only two VR-caliber motion controllers that could be used outside of a VR environment. Alas, corporate mismanagement and moneyhatting saw Sixense take a dive and refund all of the pre-orders for the STEM. Even more recently, the company sold itself to another company called InfinityLeap, which looks like it might be more interested in doing consumer-grade VR and AR instead of Sixense’s proposed market of healthcare training. Is there hope we might finally see the STEM someday? Yeah, but it’s damned faint!

Share:    
MeltedJoystick Gaming Blog RSS Feed
Comments
0 comments
Name: 

Avoid spam Captcha: Sign Up + or Log In +   



 

Bloggers

Previous Blog Posts

Archive

All Posts

April 2024

March 2024

February 2024

January 2024

December 2023

November 2023

October 2023

September 2023

August 2023

July 2023

June 2023

May 2023

April 2023

March 2023

February 2023

January 2023

December 2022

November 2022

October 2022

September 2022

August 2022

July 2022

June 2022

May 2022

April 2022

March 2022

February 2022

January 2022

December 2021

November 2021

October 2021

September 2021

August 2021

July 2021

June 2021

May 2021

April 2021

March 2021

February 2021

January 2021

December 2020

November 2020

October 2020

September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

December 2019

November 2019

October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

December 2018

November 2018

October 2018

September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

December 2016

November 2016

October 2016

September 2016

August 2016

July 2016

June 2016

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

February 2016

January 2016

December 2015

November 2015

October 2015

September 2015

August 2015

July 2015

June 2015

May 2015

April 2015

March 2015

February 2015

January 2015

December 2014

November 2014

October 2014

September 2014

August 2014

July 2014

June 2014

May 2014

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

August 2012

July 2012

June 2012

May 2012

April 2012

March 2012

February 2012

January 2012

December 2011

November 2011

October 2011

September 2011

August 2011

July 2011

June 2011

May 2011

April 2011

March 2011

February 2011

 
Log In
 
For members wanting to use FB to login, click here
remember me
 
 

What Members Are Doing

Comments about...

New Game Reviews

Pikmin 4 game review by Nelson Schneider
A Hat in Time game review by Chris Kavan
No Man's Sky game review by Nelson Schneider
Sonic Colors game review by Megadrive
Dragon Quest Monsters: The... game review by Nelson Schneider
Sunset Overdrive game review by Chris Kavan
The Vagrant game review by Chris Kavan
Cthulhu Saves Christmas game review by Nick

New Game Lists

Backlog by Nelson Schneider
Top PlayStation 2 Games by Megadrive
My Backlog by Chris Kavan
Games I Own: Switch Digital by dbarry_22
Top Nintendo (NES) Games by Nick
Backlog by Matt
Top Game List by SIngli6
Top Game List by Jonzor

 

 

 

Contact Us Public Relations MeltedJoystick Friends    

Advertise and Business

Contacts Us

Jobs

About us

SiteMap

 

Support Us

FAQ and Help

News and Press

Terms of Use

Privacy

Hitfix.com

Amazon.com

OVGuide.com

   
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
  
Are you sure you want to delete this blog?